LETTER: ‘We are failing, and the entire community is being impacted’

The decision to discuss the early termination of our superintendent is not in the best interest of this community. How many times are we going to keep doing this? The national reputation of this district continues to deteriorate. We are in a dangerous pattern of dismissing superintendents. Why would any new administrator want to come here? Look at our history. It speaks for itself.

We need the stability, transparency and fiscal responsibility this school committee promised, campaigned on and assured us they would provide. We cannot continue to build upon our already terrible reputation, create tension and uncertainty for our administrators and teachers, and make it impossible for administrators to succeed here.

Dr. Buckey has tirelessly tried to rebuild our district after the turnover of his six predecessors and then COVID. Less than two months ago, he received a 5-0 overall proficient evaluation. If there were such egregious concerns about his performance, concerns that rise to the level of early termination, why weren’t they raised then? How did so much change since the election to merit this move? It seems impossible.

Let’s recall that two members of this current school committee served on the search committee that brought Dr. Buckey to the community as one of two finalists for the superintendent position. That search yielded a 5-0 vote to hire him. Three of you were part of that vote. You are now moving towards early termination of the candidate you brought to us, and voted unanimously to hire. How do you expect us to trust your judgment about any new hire or about anything else?

How do we even recover from yet another superintendent turnover at the hands of this newly formed committee? How do we recover from the events of the last few weeks? I fear that we cannot. Too much damage has been done. The town is in turmoil. Horrible things are being said and done to one another. We are forgetting that in the end, there are no winners or losers here except for the students and staff who will ultimately suffer the most.

This destructive pattern has to stop or we will never be a solid, stable, financially sound, top district that attracts and keeps talented leaders and teachers or helps our students successfully reach their goals. Most importantly, we need to come together as a community rather than working to fracture this district even further. We are not modeling the very best practices we expect of our students as we build a K-12 portrait of a graduate. We are failing, and the entire community is being impacted.

Your decision to discuss early termination does not reflect my voice as a parent, taxpayer and constituent that you represent. Our students and staff deserve better than this.

Melissa Kaplowitch

Camille Terrace

Letter to the editor
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